Vol. 3 Number 5, May 1997
Editor Andy Neckar

Inside This Newsletter

1. Scriptural or Traditional Churches?
2. Tolerance or Truth?
3. A Roman Miracle—a poem

Scriptural or Traditional Churches?
By Andy Neckar

All right, who desires and practices ritual and tradition over obedience to God.? Now, this God I refer to is the God of the Bible. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This God is the Father of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, who is one with the Father, the Savior of all who believe on Him.

Now, back to the question.
Who desires and practices ritual and tradition over obedience to God?
The majority of the Christian churches.
How do I figure this?

Well, it started a long time ago. First the church began forming denominations soon after the reformation said to be led by Martin Luther. I have not the space to give even a brief history of all, or even the major denominations in this newsletter, but most of you know of many that are called the Protestant denominations. They are called Protestant because they were formed out of, and after the Protesters who were trying to reform the Roman Catholic church. When this Reformation failed, the protesters separated from the Roman Church and a new religion was modeled and denominated. Usually after a leaders beliefs.

Many Baptists claim that the Baptist church was never a part of the reformation and therefore is not a Protestant religion, but is a continuation of the Anabaptists who were practicing their beliefs long before the reformation. I believe this to be true, but this church too, formed denominational connections. The Anabaptists were called by that name in times past because of what they practiced, and that was re-baptizing converts by immersion that came to believe the gospel of Christ.

The dominant religion, Roman Catholicism, has always been apostate from the beginning I believe this to be sometime around the latter part of the 3rd century.

For 1,000 years before the Reformation, there were always groups of evangelical Christians outside the Catholic Church, "millions" of whom were slaughtered for obeying Scripture instead of Rome. Through the example of these Vaudois, Albigenses, Waldenses and other early evangelicals, and from the Bibles they preserved, (Books of the Old & New Testament "minus" the Apocrypha books) a few Roman Catholic priests and monks realized that their church didn't preach the truth and that they and their fellow Catholics were not saved, but lost

Yes, God has always had His remnant and He still does. Even though Denominationalism is falling away from the faith, individual churches (a small remnant) within the denominations are still holding to the gospel once delivered to the saints, and some are contending for that faith. PRAISE GOD! But the majority of churches of "every" denomination are sufficiently fallacious, some much more that others, that True Believers are forced to separate from these churches.

The light of these churches within the apostate denominations that still hold to the Word of God are subject to disrepute, and their witness is diminished because they refuse to separate from the apostate denomination they choose to identify with.

I hear stanch Bible Believing Baptists defend the Baptist name as if holding to the name because of tradition identifies them as a true church, but that is not the case. I hear preachers anguish over churches dropping the name Baptist and going by Community Church , or Bible Church, when in fact many of these so named churches stand for, and preach "Sound Words".

I hear many preachers and Christian Internet Site Web Masters, in defending the name Baptist, approve Independent Baptist churches that are deeply into ecumenical movements such as Promise Keepers ect. There are Christian Internet Sites preaching gross error, but because the preacher gives reference to, and derives this error from his understanding of the King James Bible he is sanctioned and promoted by these name honoring, on the verge of cultic, traditionalists.

I am a firm believer in that the King James Bible is the best English translation of Scripture that we will ever have. I also believe as citizens of the United States of America we have a right to own handguns. But-I don't condone and promote the unlawful misuse of these handguns. I don't choose what I believe to be the superior handgun, such as the Smith & Wesson, and proclaim to the world that "anyone using a Smith & Wesson handgun for whatever reason is to be condoned", because of the fact that a S&W is used and promoted. The Roman Catholic Pope could find the practice of Transubstantiation, the Church built on Peter, Mary worship, and any number of heresies in the KJV Bible because of spiritual darkness, but should we in that scenario, promote the Pope?

We must be careful that we are not lulled into complacency because of a name, whether it be a church or a bible. The Church of Christ here in Hico uses the KJV to "prove"? baptismal regeneration.

I thought I would write on this subject because of "The Misinformation Super Highway" promoting individualistic label honor. I would rather attend a "Hico Community Church" if it was a Bible Believing, Bible Preaching and Bible Practicing church, than any other church in my area.

There are churches that preach and practice that a preacher (pastor) should not dress differently that the members. Yet these same preachers dress the choir in identical robes and have these "choir members" stand "up front" and face the "pew members".Can the heart respond more to God in Hymns, if dressed identical? Is this not pomposity? Choir members and the choir director are honored (congratulated) from the pulpit and the church news articles in the local newspaper.

This poem was written in 1993 in response to the public recognition that folks receive in the area churches here in Hico, as witnessed first hand and publicized in the local newspaper.

Our Churches Give Thanks
By Andy Neckar

We give thanks and recognition
For little things that people do
They do the work for Jesus
And we praise them through and through

No matter how incidental
We give them a big hand
We build them up for Jesus
Before Jesus ever can

The choir offers lovely music
That can lift our heart for days
If from their hearts they sing to Jesus
Should we then offer praise

Yes, they do the work for Jesus
Then we pull our little stint
We praise them from the pulpit
And we put their names in print

Can too much praise get out of hand
Can we become accustomed to expect it
Before it leads to self-esteem
Should we not possibly reject it

Public praise for faith in God
Is certainly alluring
When given for a proper cause
For building and assuring

But a word of thanks in privateI
Is all that we should need
Not public recognition
For every little deed

So let's keep the pulpit open
For the praises of the Lord
And leave it up to Jesus
To give us our reward

There is much more tradition involved in the true churches that will be addressed in a future newsletter, because a little yeast (tradition) levels the whole lump. Tradition such as the falling away of the "breaking of bread" in observing the Lord's Supper. The churches have resorted to the convenience of the "Protestant Wafer" of a cracker in the "whole". There is no remembrance of Christ's "broken" body in this ceremony. But that is the subject of another article in itself.

Tolerance or Truth?
By Andy Neckar

According to the Associated Baptist Press, no so long age the verse most quoted by Christian young people was John 3:16. Now the verse most quoted is , "Judge not that you be not judged".

As culture has been "reinvented" so has the truth rule "Objective truth" has been replaced with "all truth is relative". To say that Jesus is the only way to God is now considered a value judgment, not a statement of fact.

No longer is truth the # 1 virtue in America as in times past. Tolerance has taken over the # 1 slot. Tolerance, as defined in the Webster's New World Dictionary and synonymized with words such as, endurance, forbearance, sufferance, and long-suffering is necessary. (1 Cor 5:9-11) But tolerance has been redefined as "every single individuals values, beliefs, lifestyles and claims to truth are equal". One may say they believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, while another may say Ronald McDonald is the son of God.

Under the Constitution of the United States we have equal rights to hold these beliefs. Under the "New Redefined Tolerance", these beliefs are equal.

The schools are teaching this to the children, and so are many churches. The gospel message is rarely the gospel of Christ, but a worldly gospel of tolerance and unity in the name of "Christian Love". But Christian love and tolerance cannot co-exist. Love will not tolerate untruth. Christians have a standard of truth. That standard is the KJV Bible in the English language. If we believe "all" of it we have a standard of Truth. If not, we have no standard.

In John 4, Jesus did not "tolerate in love" the woman at the well. He "spoke the truth in love" by exposing her lifestyle as "sinful," not "alternate".

Folks, the world along with the churches are on the wrong path. The smooth and wide path of unity and the new defined tolerance is easy and amiable to say the least. Tolerance is not confrontational, nor is it unabashed Tolerance requires no courage, no boldness and no testimony. Tolerance requires no confidence, no faith and no savior. All truth is relative. All religious paths lead to God. God, we are told, is an "equal opportunity" Savior All religious faiths are equal The Biblical God, the Idol god, the Environmental god, the New Age god and goddesses all lead to salvation God is truth and truth is all, therefore all is God. And get this." The churches are falling for this satanic lie".

The Word of God is outdated. New Improved bible versions, all of which are lacking in Biblical Truth, are produced to deceive those "hungry for the Word". These perverted versions also give credence to the deceivers who preach from them. The public is buying them in the millions---"led by the churches" The deceivers are "growing the churches" because they accommodate those who heap to themselves teachers having itching ears, who turn truth into fable. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

God's believers, by staying in the mixed multitude, (Neh 13:1-3) are being duped by these false teachers "teaching the gospel of Satan, the power of sin unto damnation", and given to indifference by false Christians with itching ears It is past time to speak the truth in love, (contend for the faith) and separate ( aphorizo; 2 Cor 6:17) from those who separate (apodiorizo; Jude 1:18-19) themselves from truth to error.

[Highly recommended reading. "The Mixed Multitude" by Tom Malone. Preached at the "National Sword of the Lord Conference on Revival and Soul Winning", Gospel Light Baptist Church, Walkertown, NC. July 22 1996 and printed in the "Sword of the Lord", PO Box 1099, Murfreesboro, TN 37133, Oct. 4 1996 and the "Midwestern Messenger" 825 Golf Drive, Pontiac, MI 48341 a bi-momthle newsletter, Jan.- Feb.'97 issue].

A Roman Miracle
A pretty maid, a Protestant, was to a Catholic wed
To love all Bible truths and tales, quite early she'd been bred
It sorely grieved her husband's heart that she would not comply
And join the Mother Church of Rome and heretics deny.

So day by day he flattered her, but still she saw no good
Would ever come from bowing down, to idols made of wood
The Mass, the host, the miracles, were made but to deceive
And transubstantiation, too, she'd never dare believe.

He went to see his clergyman, and told him his sad tale
"My wife is an unbeliever, sir, you can perhaps prevail
For all your Roman miracles, my wife has strong aversion
To really work a miracle, may lead to her conversion".

The priest went with the gentleman, he taught to gain a prize.
He said "I will convert her sir, and open both her eyes".
So when they came into the house, the husband loudly cried
"The priest has come to dine with us!" "He's welcome," she replied.

And when, at last, the meal was o'er, the priest at once began
To teach his hostess all about, the sinful state of man
The greatness of our Saviors love, which Christians can't deny
To give Himself a sacrifice, and for our sins to die.

"I will return tomorrow, lass, prepare some bread and wine;
The sacramental miracle, will stop your soul's decline."
"I'll bake the bread," the lady said, "You may," he did reply
"And when you see this miracle, convinced you'll be, say I."

The priest did come accordingly, the bread and wine did bless
The lady asked, "Sir is it changed?" The priest, he answered, "Yes,
It's changed from common bread and wine, to truly flesh and blood;
Begorra, lass, this power of mine has changed it into God!"

So having blessed the bread and wine, to eat they did prepare
The lady said unto the priest, "I warn you to take care,
For half an ounce of arsenic, was mixed into the batter,
But since you have it's nature changed, it cannot really matter."

The priest was struck real dumb- he looked as pale as death
The bread and wine fell from his hands, and he did gasp for breath
"Bring me my horse!" the priest cried, "This is a cursed home!"
The lady replied, "Begone; tis you who shares the curse of Rome."

The husband, too, he sat surprised, and not a word did say
At length he spoke, "My dear," said he, "the priest has run away;
To gulp such mummery and tripe, I'm not for sure quite able
I'll go with you and we'll denounce this Roman Catholic fable."
-Author Unknown

Denominational Loyalty
Dave Hunt in the April '97 issue of "The Berean Call" says in regards of the church, "Loyalty to denomination substitutes for Christ. For example, "Christian News," a Lutheran newspaper, offers some excellent articles, but it's orientation is more often Lutheran than biblical. The standard is "true Lutheranism" rather than Christ. So it is with many denominations". I say AMEN
Aspirations of Man & Lucifer?
In his celebrated book, "Crossing The Treshold of Hope", Pope John Paul II explains that "salvation and divinization" are the "ultimate purpose" of man's life. The divinization of man comes from God:, (page 195) Likewise, the new universal "Catechism of the Catholic Church", quoting St. Athanasius and St. Thomas Aquinas, declares, " For the Son of God became man so that we might become God... The only begotten Son of God...assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make man gods".(The Berean Call, April '97) Someone named Lucifer said that once. "I will be like the most High".(Isaiah 14:14)

Denominationalism Growing
The newly formed Vineyard denomination was begun 14 years ago. They now have 500 churches in the USA and 181 churches in 27 other countries. Their goal is to plant 1,500 churches in the next four years, and 200 are in the process right now.

The Vineyard denomination specializes in signs and wonders. The un-scriptural practice of miraculous healing, slaying in the spirit, and the casting out of demons is the calling card to attract thousands of the spiritually blind. It is heavily involved in the laughing revival which is sweeping the world nowadays.

When asked if a person truly saved can be demonized, Steve Nicholson, a spokesman for the Vineyard churches said, "You can have at least one demon left over after you are saved".

I wonder-are they casting out demons, or opening doors to let demons in? It has been said that people are overloaded with information and therefore have moved to experience. I feel sorry for them, because after this, the judgment. (Heb 9:27)

See you next month.

We Must Earnestly Contend For The Faith.